Looking ahead to Day 3 of minicamp: Keeping groupings in perspective

Looking ahead to Day 3 of minicamp: Keeping groupings in perspective

Let's take a quick look at what to expect from Day 3 of mandatory minicamp at Gillette Stadium . . . 

* Who's in, who's out: Lawrence Guy was not spotted at Wednesday's session, so we'll keep an eye out to see if he's back for Thursday's workout. This isn't the time of year -- with players in shorts and t-shirts --when it's easy to get a sense for how defensive linemen are playing, but you'd like to see everyone out there in some capacity. Undrafted rookie offensive lineman Andrew Jelks was also missing on Wednesday. Receiver Malcolm Mitchell, linebacker Dont'a Hightower and defensive lineman Alan Branch have been around for each of the first two days of minicamp but have spent their time working on a lower field. 

* Keeping groupings in perspective: On Wednesday we spotted Rex Burkhead working with Tom Brady and his top offensive weapons for much of the practice. Does that mean he's already worked his way ahead of James White on the depth chart? Not necessarily. The coaching staff is looking to work players with a variety of different teammates so that they're ready to see a variety of different situations. For Burkhead, it was a valuable set of snaps to receive since he was able to get immediate feedback from Brady on how best to execute the nuances of the routes he ran. On the defensive side, coaches shook up the secondary a bit Wednesday as Stephon Gilmore worked with the second group of defensive backs for a large portion of practice, while Eric Rowe stepped in to play across from Malcolm Butler. Justin Coleman saw slot work with the first secondary grouping at times, subbing in for Jonathan Jones, and performed well. 

* Situational football, even in June: While it is a "teaching camp," there are periods that tend to be more competitive than others. On Wednesday, with the offense working on third-and-long situations, and with the music blaring on speakers nearby, the intensity level seemed to be revved up. Players spoke openly afterward about how the trash talk was flowing, with Julian Edelman taking a lead role from that standpoint. Expect more of the same Thursday.

* Looking for more: Dwayne Allen admitted he's been frustrated by his trouble reeling in passes through two days of camp so he'll have an opportunity to bounce back on Day 3. The Patriots have been spreading out their tight end reps between Rob Gronkowski, Allen, James O'Shaughnessy, Matt Lengel, Jacob Hollister and Sam Cotton. O'Shaughnessy has looked fluid at points as a receiver, catching a touchdown from Brady in traffic during 7-on-7s Wednesday that earned a fist-bump from the quarterback.

* Rookies impressing: Undrafted rookie corners DJ Killings and Kenny Moore have both seemed to have a knack for getting their hands on footballs, and both have seen reps with their more veteran teammates. Undrafted rookie receiver Austin Carr appears to have developed a pretty good rapport with second-year quarterback Jacoby Brissett during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 periods. Those two have worked together during just about every team period, and they've spent time after practices working together on their connection with a group that also has included Cody Hollister and DJ Foster among others. It's harder to tell how Patriots draft picks are doing since all four play in the trenches. Tony Garcia was asked to take a lap at one point on Wednesday for what looked like a false-start penalty during a hurry-up portion of practice.

* Another meeting with Bill Belichick: Reporters will have a chance to speak with the Patriots head coach at 11 a.m. Players will be available after the session. There will be one final OTA practice open to members of the media next week on June 12. After that, the next time we'll see the Patriots on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium will be for training camp. 

Eric Ebron signs two-year deal with Colts

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Eric Ebron signs two-year deal with Colts

Former Lions tight end Eric Ebron is signing a two-year deal worth $15 million with the Colts, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Ebron was rumored to be a potential target for the Patriots, especially after new Pats running back Jeremy Hill tried recruiting him to the team.

The 24-year-old had 53 receptions for 574 yards and four touchdowns a season ago with Detroit. 


Patriots release Shea McClellin

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Patriots release Shea McClellin

Shea McClellin will be blocking kicks for somebody else next season. 

The Patriots announced Monday they've released the veteran linebacker, ending his tenure with the team after two seasons.  ESPN's Field Yates broke the news.

The Pats signed McClellin to a three-year deal prior to the 2016 season, but that was the only season in which he played for the team. McClellin missed all of last season due to injury. Prior to coming to New England, McClellin played four seasons with the Bears, who chose him 19th overall in 2012. 

McClellin's biggest contribution with the Pats came when he blocked a Justin Tucker kick in Week 14 of the 2016 season against the Ravens.